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China 5G to drive first smartphone shipment rise in four years

IDC projects 1.5% increase in 2020 as market awaits Apple's entry

Huawei's 5G phone: IDC says "recent developments in China" prompted it to raise its short-term smartphone forecast.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The global smartphone market will grow for the first time in four years in 2020 thanks to China's aggressive rollout of fifth-generation mobile networks, according to the latest forecast by U.S. research company IDC.

Shipments are expected to increase 1.5% from 2019 projections to 1.4 billion devices after three years of declines, IDC said in a news release on Tuesday. After reaching a record high of 1.47 billion in 2016, shipments fell 0.3% in 2017 and 4.3% in 2018, and are expected to slump by another 1.4% this year.

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